Ramsay Bolton’s death was originally “too gruesome” even for Game of Thrones

And this is the show that gave us a teenage girl stabbing a guy’s eyes out


Remember Ramsey Bolton’s last scene in season six of Game of Thrones? He doesn’t. Bolton was fed to his own pack of hungry hounds after losing the Battle of the Bastards.


However, you might recall the downright gruesome shot where Ramsey’s face got bitten off by a peckish pup. That’s right, the moment you watched through your fingers (even though you probably also had the Baha Men’s Who Let The Dogs Out accompanying the cheers in your head that such a nasty piece of work was finally getting his comeuppance).

Well, Image Engine — the special effects company that created many of the memorable scenes for season six —originally intended it to be even gorier…


Speaking to Variety, the company’s visual effects supervisor Mat Krentz revealed that they created a CG jaw for Bolton, and animated it to reveal the flesh ripping between Ramsay’s skin and gums. But when they watched it back it was decided it was “too gruesome” even for Game of Thrones.

We repeat: Game of Thrones – the show that depicted a man’s skull being crushed like a screaming melon, a pregnant woman being repeatedly stabbed in the stomach and a little girl gouging out someone’s eyes with a dagger – created something too grim to broadcast.

In fact, Image Engine was responsible to bringing to life (or death) most of the 72 deaths that occurred just in season six. And they put a lot of work into making each and every bloody end stand out.

“Some shots were really specific, like someone getting their head smashed directly against a wall,” explained composition lead Edwin Holdsworth. 

“To get the look right for that we filmed real meat being smashed. We used the same technique for shots where one character has their hand pulled apart. The best way to match the level of gore needed was to pull some meat apart, and use that in the comp. It all felt more realistic that way!”

And that’s the company’s approach to creating both the environment and the many many deaths of GoT; making real life practical effects and enhancing them with CGI.

See all the death and settings that Image Engine created in season six for yourself below.


Well, maybe not before you have lunch…